PARIS Lifting The Lid on Pigalle, Paris’ Most Non-Conforming Neighborhood

“Pigalle is a taste of the real Paris, it has real personality” explains Caroline de Maigret, "Unlike many other districts of the city there is something raw about it”.

PARIS

Lifting The Lid on Pigalle, Paris’ Most Non-Conforming Neighborhood

“Pigalle is a taste of the real Paris, it has real personality” explains Caroline de Maigret, "Unlike many other districts of the city there is something raw about it”.

Think Paris, think the eiffel tower, golden-stone facades, beret wearing, baguette bearing gentlemen and effortlessly chic, cappuccino sipping french femmes. But scratch a little beneath the surface, and you’ll find a vibrant, bohemian and in some places, iconoclastic world well beyond the clichés, challenging what it means to be typically Parisian. Who better to lift the lid on what the city really has to offer than non-conforming, local insider Caroline de Maigret, author of the international bestseller, “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are”. 

While a born-and-bred Parisian, Caroline marches to the beat of her own drum. An author, music producer, model, Chanel ambassador and Lancôme muse, she has lived for the past 12 years in an area called Pigalle, bordering the 9th and 18th arrondissements. “Pigalle is a taste of the real Paris, it has real personality” she explains, "Unlike many other districts of the city that have been cleaned and modernised, there is something raw about it”. Enlivened by the energy of a small village, everyone from shop owners to residents knows each other’s names and commerce is authentic and artisanal, with traditional tradesmen selling their crafts, not a generic megastore in sight. “It’s also the real music hub of Paris, with guitar shops, live music, bars and restaurants - great for people who love the real experience”, maintains Caroline.

Pigalle, Paris property

A far cry from its former red-light district days when it was famous for sex shops, adult shows and erotic cabaret, Pigalle manages to be achingly hip while still retaining its original charm. Today it’s a honeypot for creative sorts, night owls and curious visitors who want a taste of the unique atmosphere. Set on the hill just below Montmartre and home to the iconic Moulin Rouge, Pigalle boasts the best views over Paris. Rue Lepic, one of the most remarkable streets in Paris and home to historical figures such as Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Baptiste Clément, also winds around the famous hill. It’s a unique, easy-to-get-to area with great transport links, particularly on lines 2 and 12. While architecturally speaking Pigalle is quite inconsistent, with pockets of different building types, it is this inconsistency which actually makes it iconic. Property here remain some of the most sought after in the city, with some going for up to €13,500 per square meter according to Athena Advisers' local experts. Check out Athena’s up and coming developments in neighbouring Montmartre.

Stay tuned for next week when we delve into Caroline’s Black-Book for the spots not to miss for the authentic Parisian experience. "One Day in Paris with Caroline de Maigret"

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